What were the objectives of the Salvadoran revolution, and how did US intervention affect it?
Keen, Benjamin. A History of Latin America, Vols, I and II, Eighth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2009
The roots of the Salvadorian civil war have deep roots. The main issue revolved around land ownership. El Salvador relies on cash crops and the desire for more equitable distribution of the wealth from this source led to an ongoing struggle that began in the 1930s.
In 1979, a military junta took over with promises of reform. When these were not forthcoming, the main five guerilla groups formed one organization - the FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front). The authorities reacted with mass arrests and executions.
The U.S. is said to have perpetuated the conflict by providing aid to the Salvadorean government. It must be remembered that this was still the time of the Cold War and the U.S. was worried about communist activity in Latin America. The U.S. trained and supported the government forces who embarked on a brutal campaign including mass murder and assasinations of key political opponents.
The atrocities led to congressional investigations and the end of military aid. Even so, U.S. military assistance arguably led to the perpertuation of the conflict that claimed thousands of lives.